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Rare Phobias: An Introduction
Phobias are irrational fears stemming from unpleasant past experiences with particular stimuli. Individuals suffering from phobias will experience symptoms similar to a panic attack when confronted by their fears. These following phobias are both rare and unusual.
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While some individuals may find the Macarena to be perplexing, chorophobes will find it downright horrifying. Chorophobia is the fear of dancing--dancing of any kind. Through therapy and gradual exposure to busy dance halls, chorophobes may overcome their fears and join the fun.
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Heliophobia is the second of our rare phobias on this list and it is an irrational fear of the sun. It’s likely that most heliophobes are actually afraid of getting skin cancer through sun exposure. It’s also possible that many heliophobes are simply overly sensitive to sunlight. In addition to impairing an individual’s social life, heliophobia can lead to Vitamin D deficiency.
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Peladophobia is the fear of bald people or of going bald. In some cases, a peladophobe is an individual who may have experienced past cruelty or trauma at the hands of a bald person. The phobia may also develop as a reaction to jokes and sometime negative perceptions in the media associated with baldness.
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In Western culture, the number 13 is associated with bad luck and looming misfortune. This superstition contributes to triskaidekaphobia, which is the fear of 13. Triskaidekaphobes will go out of their way to avoid the number, even if it means changing airline flights and hotel rooms. The fear of Friday the 13th has its own name: paraskevidekatriaphobia.
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Gallophobia is the fear of French culture. Individuals with this phobia may even fear hearing French words. Treatment of gallophobia can involve introducing the gallophobe to an (amiable) person from France, or even taking a trip to the European country.
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Equinophobia is an irrational fear of horses, even those with a gentle nature. The fear can stem from riding accidents or experiences with unfriendly horses. Equinophobia also encompasses the fear of other hoofed animals, such as zebras and donkeys.
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Vampires aren’t the only ones who find garlic distressing. Generally, alliumphobia is the fear of garlic, but the phobia may also encompass other odorous plants, such as onions and chives.
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Dendrophobia is the fear of trees. The phobia may develop in an individual who has experienced a traumatic fall from a tree. An otherwise peaceful forest can be a nightmare for a dendrophobe.
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Chirophobes may be easy to spot. Most of the time, they will wear gloves or mittens and refuse to shake hands. Chirophobia may seem to be a fear of germs, but actually it is the fear of hands--even your own.
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Franklin D. Roosevelt once suggested that the only thing worthy of fear is fear itself. Phobophobes take Roosevelt’s words literally. Phobophobia is the fear of fear, or the phobia of developing phobias. Unlike most phobias, phobophobia stems from internal sensations rather than tangible sources. Individuals who suffer from panic attacks or anxiety disorder may develop this phobia.